Definitions of Product Types
The Forest Service uses several types of wildland firefighting chemicals.
The specific requirements and uses of each depend on the characteristics
of the group. The first step in the submission process is determining the
type of product to be submitted. The following definitions may help to clarify
the different types of products.
- Long-term retardants:
- Contain retardant salts (typically fertilizers)
that alter the way the fire burns, decreasing the fire intensity
and slowing the
advance of the fire, even after the water they originally contained
- The water they contain serves primarily to aid in uniform dispersal
of the chemical over the target area.
- Foam fire suppressants:
- Contain foaming and wetting agents. The foaming
agents affect the accuracy of an aerial drop, how fast the water
drains from the
foam and how well the product clings to the fuel surfaces. The wetting
agents increase the ability of the drained water to penetrate fuels.
depend on the water that they contain to suppress the fire.
- Water enhancers:
- Contain ingredients designed to alter the physical characteristics
of water to increase effectiveness, accuracy of the drop, or adhesion
- They also improve the ability of water to cling to vertical and smooth
- They depend on the water that they contain to suppress the fire.